// Morrisons to set up protective screens in front of checkouts in bid to ensure staff safety
// Shop workers’ union Usdaw raised concerns over colleagues’ exposure to coronavirus
// The grocer has employed 83 fitting teams to install screens at every checkout
Morrisons has confirmed it will install checkout screens in stores to protect staff against the coronavirus outbreak.
The initiative comes after shop workers’ union Usdaw raised concerns over colleagues’ exposure to the virus.
The grocer will set up hundreds of screens at checkouts from this week to protect staff as they deal with hundreds of customers each day.
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“We have increasing concerns about the safety and welfare of staff in stores,” Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis said.
“The scenes in stores over the weekend and behaviour of some customers mean that supermarkets need to go further to protect the health, safety and welfare of shop workers.
“We are calling on retailers to continue to improve their stores and procedures to help protect staff.
“We also call on customers to stay calm, respect shop workers and practice the necessary hygiene measures to help limit the spread of the virus.
“We all have to work together to get through this crisis.”
Morrisons chief executive David Potts said: “We want to do our bit to help customers and colleagues from being affected and to help everyone observe social distancing at our checkouts.
“This will help us to continue to play our full part in feeding the nation – it’s more than our job.”
He added that the grocer had employed 83 fitting teams to install protective screens at every checkout as soon as possible.
We're installing new protective screens at all our store checkouts this week, to help keep our customers and our colleagues safe. Morrisons – Feeding the Nation #ItsMoreThanOurJob pic.twitter.com/HxsskNCJB8
— Morrisons (@Morrisons) March 23, 2020
In addition to the protective screens, Morrisons has increased cleaning in stores, particularly places which are regularly touched by customers and colleagues.
On Saturday, Morrisons announced that it will introduce an NHS hour at the beginning of every day, apart from Sunday, so that NHS workers can stock up on the products they need during the pandemic.
The new hour will be 7am-8am and a Morrisons staff member will be at the door of each store to let staff with an NHS badge in.
Opening hours for other customers will move from 8am to 8pm from Monday to Saturday.